Wednesday, August 20, 2008

National Fish and Chip Day

It's on September 5th. The Manly Harbour Village is where most of the madness will be, so git down there for your fish and chip treats. Mmm.

Dad makes the best chips ever. It's like they're fried in God's sweat. He cuts them middle-sized, peels them, deep-fries them in vegetable shortening until just cooked through, then lets them sit and drain for a while. Finally, they are refried in batches until super crispy and golden. He likes to tip the fryer basket out onto a few layers of newspaper, sprinkled with salt and pepper. Then he bundles the pile of chips up inside the newspaper like a big parcel, and shakes the hell out of it. I will never be able to recreate his genius. The man has a gift: the skill of the chippery.

Sometimes I like to think about variations on the tested fish and chip theme. My personal favourite, and the one I make most often at home, is either homemade oven wedges or frozen oven chips, and a chunk of grilled salmon. But I've heard about salt cod with mashed potato, and smoked mackerel with jacket potatoes. Tuesday's C-M had a recipe for olive-crumbed whiting with sauteed potatoes and sauce gribiche. Something similar is over here. You just add chopped green olive to the crumbing mix, with a little Parmesan. The waxy potatoes are steamed, sliced and then sauteed. Could be a very easy way to make a good fish and chip variation.

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